IABD to hold company auditions for minority women.
DTH’s Chrystyn Fentroy performing at an IABD conference. Photo by Bill Hebert, courtesy IABD.
A common issue company directors cite when it comes to the diversity-in-ballet problem is that very few minority dancers attend their auditions. But the International Association of Blacks in Dance, which holds its annual conference in Denver this month, is looking to help solve the problem. The organization has invited directors from across the U.S. to consider dancers for company positions and training scholarships, at an audition open only to minority women on January 24. “This is a direct response to what we’ve been hearing,” says IABD chairperson and executive director Denise Saunders Thompson. “This is about accessibility. It’s an opportunity for engagement between dancers and professional companies.”
As of press time, the following companies and schools had confirmed attendance: Ballet Memphis, Charlotte Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, The Hartt School, Houston Ballet and its Academy, American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, Kansas City Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group, Nashville Ballet and School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Pennsylvania Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and The Washington Ballet. Dancer registration will remain open until the audition, which will consist of technique class led by Delores Brown and varied repertoire.IABD will hold its annual audition for modern and jazz dancers of color during the conference, as well. See iabdassociation.org to register.
James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)
Say you're perpetually impeccable designer Thom Browne. Say you're planning your Spring 2020 Paris menswear show along a "Versailles country club" theme. Say you want a world-class danseur to open the show with some kind of appropriately fabulous choreography.
Who do you call? James Whiteside, of course. On Saturday, the American Ballet Theatre principal—wearing pointe shoes and a glorious pinstriped tutu—kicked off Browne's presentation at the École des Beaux-Arts with a 15-minute, show-stealing solo. Whiteside choreographed the piece himself, with the help of detailed notes from the designer.
I'd been a professional dancer for five years when I realized the pain I'd been feeling in my hip and down my sciatic nerve was not going away. I had been treating it for two years as we dancers do—with regular visits to my masseuse, physical therapy, baths, ice and lots of Aleve—but I never stopped dancing. It finally dawned on me that if I kept going at the speed I was going (which was, well, speedy), the pain would only get more severe and unrelenting, and I might never dance again.
I told myself I'd take two months off, and all would be better.
That first morning when I woke up at 10 am, I had no idea what to do with myself. My life until that moment had been dictated by class and rehearsal, every hour accounted for. How should I fill the huge swath of time ahead of me?